Jared and I have realized that Beren has stepped into another state of being. He needs to be with other children. He is hungry for attention, much of which we can provide, but neither of us plays as children do. He also needs bigger challenges - he climbs higher and faster. He does jigsaw puzzles. He strings laces through shoes and beads onto strings. None of this is done perfectly, nor without occasional shrieks of frustration (wonder where he got his temper from? Both sides.).
As Beren grows, our garden has become a place of diversion and healing for us. It's great, truly, truly great. We relax up there. We visit the garden when my blood pressure needs to be leveled out. And happily, Beren requests to visit the garden multiple times a day.
We pick blueberries - "bluies" Beren calls them. Bluies fix all. When I watch his focused gaze and dextrous fingers, I think that a blueberry bush is the best object for hand eye coordination and fine motor skills. Forget the Haba or Plan Toys website. Forget research on non-toxic paints and toy manufacturer's claims about sustainable forestry practices. Buy two blueberry bushes (two for better pollination).
Our peas and strawberries have gone by. But, we celebrated by "kunchin" (crunching) the massive wall of oats and peas down by marching barefoot across them.
Briefly, the garden became an upsetting place. Our landlords brought out two mowers, and then I brought out ours. Three mowers buzzed nearby. Beren was shaken. He does not like loud noises. When the mower starter cord broke, Jared took out the little tilller. Beren frantically shouted, "Up! Up!" and gestured for me to pick him up. We watched the tiller bounce in Jared's arms. It did look upsetting, so we went to the house for a snack. "I'm sorry that the garden became a scary place, Beren," I said.
Earlier in the week a friend, who has a son under a year old told me, "I don't like when moms don't admit that it's hard. Whose sake are they doing that for? For mine?" I agreed, and so I will say, though this weekend was full of great moments - a couple solstice parties, kunchin in the garden, a trip to Duke Farms - we had some bleak moments. When I saw a couple friends at one party, I felt like crying on their shoulders, but I stuffed the feelings down. Tonight, I am relaxed and happy. I put a relaxed and happy child to sleep.
I feel a lot better. Just lettin' you know.